Try this strength training routine
It’s been a busy year in the world of cancer prevention, with some great tips from our experts. We’ve compiled the stand-out quotes to give you an overview of highlights from 2019.
“If you love yourself, do something for yourself.”
Adriana Mercado had this inspirational pep talk for anyone who wants to change to a healthy lifestyle. She lost 71 pounds with the help of MD Anderson’s Be Well Baytown program after she was shocked by a Mother’s Day photo of herself. Mercado says strong motivation was key, and friendships at her local gym kept her going back.
“There could be some pros to intermittent fasting…but long term, you’re unlikely to be able to keep the weight off.”
One of the big diet trends for the year was intermittent fasting. Our dietitian Erma Levy gave her perspective on what is a challenging eating pattern, to say the least. Intermittent fasting calls for you to stop eating for long periods time, like 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. Some people have success with it, but it’s a big ask to keep it up over the long term. Our experts recommend switching to a plant-based diet. Fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, whole grains and fruits. The remaining third should be lean protein like chicken, fish or a plant protein.
“A clinician should evaluate your symptoms and suggest testing or treatment if needed, then ask you to come back if the problem persists or gets worse.”
Great advice here from Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director, Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center. It’s so important to catch cancer early so make sure you know cancer’s most common symptoms. If you spot something, talk to your doctor right away and don’t be afraid to push for more answers if the problem persists. Be your own advocate.
"There are more than 4,000 phytochemicals that have been discovered and researched. There's not any one super-food that contains all of them.”
More food insight came from our Employee Wellness Dietitian Lindsey Wohlford as she spoke plainly on how to approach food to reduce your risk for cancer. Sadly, there is no one food that is the magic bullet. You must eat all kinds of foods to ensure your body gets the thousands of nutrients it needs to function best. A plant-based diet is sustainable and it gives you the variety required to access antioxidants and phytochemicals.
“The connection between weight and uterine cancer is very profound.”
A stark message came from our Shannon Westin, M.D., this year. Uterine cancer, the most common gynecological cancer, is on the rise. Largely because so many of us struggle with weight. It’s essential to maintain a healthy weight to lower your cancer risk. Extra weight is bad for the uterus because fat cells create estrogen. Extra estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to grow too much. The extra growth increases the risk of tumors developing. Follow these guidelines to help you reduce your risk.
“It can start as early as 5 or 6 years old.”
Senior Exercise Physiologist Carol Harrison called for all of us to review our days and ensure we are not slipping into a sedentary lifestyle. Harrison says even children as young as 5 or 6 can get stuck in a life of mostly sitting simply because of the way their day is structured. Follow her advice on how to make a change. Moving and being active is essential if you want to reduce your risk for cancer.
“It’s a use it or lose it situation.”
Finally, don’t forget strength training. Wellness Specialist Evan Thoman says if you don’t maintain your muscle strength, you’ll lose it. He offers this simple exercise routine you can do twice a week to get the benefits of a strong body. These include improved metabolism, reduced risk for disease and less aches and pains as you age.